After a 19-7 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars lead the AFC South with a 7-3 record despite lack of talent at one of the most important positions on the field. The Jaguars’ depth at wide receiver is limited with Allen Robinson out for the season and Allen Hurns missing time due to an ankle injury. The depth concerns may have been mitigated, however, with Dede Westbrook being activated off injured reserve. He played his first game of his career this past Sunday, and he did not disappoint against the Browns.
Though Dede Westbrook wanted 200 yards in his debut, he can be happy with three receptions and 35 yards on six targets. With more time to form chemistry with Blake Bortles and become more comfortable with the offense, Westbrook could quickly become a top option in Jacksonville’s offense late in the season.
Westbrook has the talent to become a top option. He had a great college career at the University of Oklahoma, and he will look to have similar success in the NFL. In his senior season at Oklahoma, Westbrook finished with 1,524 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. He was a consensus All-American and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Most impressively, he won the Fred Biletnikoff Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top wide receiver.
Westbrook finished fourth in the Heisman voting and appeared to be a high draft pick in the NFL draft. However, after being alleged of domestic violence multiple times, his draft stock plummeted, and the Jaguars drafted Westbrook in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. He has all the talent to have a great NFL career, but Bortles will need to get the ball in his hands as much as possible.
Alongside Marqise Lee and Hurns when he returns from injury, Westbrook will have the opportunity to solidify a major role in the Jaguars offense, which is still the weakest part of this Jaguars team. The defense will carry them for now, but the Jaguars will need to play well on both sides of the ball to get to the Super Bowl. Poor quarterback play will always limit a team, but talent at other skill positions can overcome Bortles’ inconsistent play to not cost the team a chance at postseason success.
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